Romano-British enclosed settlement 340m north east of East Applegarth at Whitcliffe Scar


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018335

Date first listed: 21-Nov-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-1998


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed settlement 340m north east of East Applegarth at Whitcliffe Scar
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Richmond

National Grid Reference: NZ 13653 01952


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The Pennine uplands of northern England contain a wide variety of prehistoric remains, including cairns, enclosures, carved rocks, settlements and field systems. These are evidence of the widespread exploitation of these uplands throughout later prehistory. During the last millennium BC a variety of different types of enclosed settlements developed. These include hillforts, which have substantial earthworks and are usually located on hilltops. Other types of enclosed settlement of this period are less obviously defensive, as they have less substantial earthworks and are usually in less prominent positions. In the Pennines a number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements survive as upstanding monuments. Where upstanding earthworks survive, the settlements are between 0.4ha and 10ha in area, and are usually located on ridges or hillside terraces. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight, most consisting of a ditch with an internal bank, or with an internal and external bank, but examples with an internal ditch and with no ditch are known. They are sub-circular, sub-rectangular, or oval in shape. Few of these enclosed settlements have been subject to systematic excavation, but they are thought to date from between the Late Bronze Age to the Romano-British period (c.1000 BC-AD 400). Examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of settlement. Some appear to have developed from earlier palisaded enclosures. Unexcavated examples occasionally have levelled areas which may have contained buildings, but a proportion may have functioned primarily as stock enclosures. Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the Pennine uplands, and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time. Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives are considered to be nationally important.

The monument survives well and significant evidence of the original form and function will be preserved. The substantial ramparts were built on a scale which reflected the status and prestige of their builders as well as offering some defence. The monument is one of a number of similar late prehistoric and Romano-British enclosures in the region and offers important scope for the study of prehistoric life in the Yorkshire Dales.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British enclosed settlement at the foot of Whitcliffe Scar. It is situated on a slightly modified river terrace high above the River Swale. The settlement commands views in both directions along the valley. The settlement includes two large rectangular enclosures with substantial stone ramparts separated by a deep hollow way. The eastern enclosure measures 66m by 52m and is defined by substantial stone rubble ramparts between 5m and 11m wide at the base and up to 1.5m high. Built into the eastern rampart are three circular chambers approximately 2.5m in diameter linked by a low passage 1.5m wide. In the northern part of the enclosure are low stone walls forming a series of rectangular divisions and footings for buildings. There is an entrance to the enclosure at the south west angle. The western enclosure measures 77m by 52m. There is a rampart on the east side up to 8.5m wide and 1.3m high. The other three sides have less substantial stone walls 2m to 5m wide. Within this enclosure are two rectangular sub-divisions on a slightly raised terrace in the north part, the stone footings for a circular building 11m in diameter in the south east and traces of a further oval building at the west side. Both enclosures occupy the width of the terrace so the rear is against the scree slope and front on the top edge of a short and steep slope. A stone and earth wall extends along the base of this slope to the front of the east enclosure then turns to join the west side of the hollow way. The monument was an agricultural settlement which has been identified from surface finds of pottery to have been occupied from the Iron Age into the late Romano-British period. The remains demonstrate that the settlement included rectangular buildings and round houses as well as enclosures used for cultivation and stock keeping all surrounded by substantial ramparts. To the east of the monument are a series of natural and modified hillocks and shallow earthworks which are thought to be associated with later quarrying activities on the scar. These features are not included in the monument. The fence on the northern side of the monument and the field wall to the east are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath both these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 29549

Legacy System: RSM


Thubron S, FMW Sketch, (1979)
Title: The Yorkshire Dales Mapping Project Source Date: 1995 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing